Esade Alumni Social is celebrating its 15th anniversary. Since its inception, more than 2,000 Esade alumni have helped foster co-operation between third-sectors entities and the business world, and the Esade Alumni Social team decided to celebrate this milestone with a blended event that some people could attend in person and many more online. A down-to-earth but heartfelt event marked by the pandemic. A small tribute to all the protagonists of these 15 years making an impact and contribution to society.
The event consisted of a panel discussion featuring Efren Carbonell, director of Fundación ASPASIM; Cristina Ribes, director of the Gasol Foundation; Ricard Matas, director of Fundació Tallers; Pere Carbó (DAF 89), giving-back consultant; and Shubha Sherck (BBA 18), giving-back consultant. They shared their experience of the Giving-Back Consultants project from the different viewpoints of the NGOs helped by the consultants and the consultants themselves.
Efren Carbonell, director of Fundació ASPASIM, an entity dedicated to enhancing the wellbeing and inclusion of severely mentally handicapped persons by means of educational, occupational, housing, health and leisure projects, has taken part in the Giving-Back Consultants programme three times. “Esade Alumni Social encourages us to generate change. In 2021, you’ve turned us upside-down with your disruptive proposals and homework for the next four years. You give us a far-reaching outlook and set us challenges”, he said emotionally about so many years of fruitful co-operation.
Cristina Ribes, director of the Gasol Foundation, an entity dedicated to combating childhood obesity by research and programmes to encourage a healthy life style and raise awareness, explained that the Giving-Back project had given her, “the privilege of working with private-sector professionals using the best possible practices: they give you an insight into what is happening in the world and can help you advance towards a better society”.
Shuba Sherck has completed her first year as a giving-back consultant as the youngest member of the FEM CET team. “Working in a multi-disciplinary team can sow doubts but collaborating with people of different ages and experience takes the project so much further. Being a giving-back consultant is an opportunity everyone should make the most of. I now have a broader view of the world and I think we can all do our bit to build a better world”, she said.
Ricard Matas explained that his work with giving-back consultants was fruitful. “They helped us not so much with what we should do but how we should apply our vision”, he said and emphasised that “we organisations have the opportunity to see how the seed planted by consultants blossoms in the years after the project ends.”
Pere Carbó is highly committed to Alumni Social (he has already been a giving-back consultant on five occasions) and this year he was the coordinator of the entity called Obra Tutelar Agraria. During the discussion he explained was a wonderful experience the project was. “I can’t speak too highly of it. It’s part of my life. Every year I look forward to starting in September”. He added that giving-back consultants gain a greater social awareness of the world and are able to develop their soft skills without the pressure of the workplace thanks to group dynamics.
A proven track record of social engagement
Finally, Isabel Rallo, the director of Esade Alumni Social, highlighted that during the last academic year, one thing revealed by the coronavirus crisis was that companies can change track and become leaders of the social transformation that such transcendent circumstances call for.
The theory of change underpinning this social project at the outset remains unchanged and completely valid today, i.e. to enable business and society to join forces and offer each other mutual support to build a better world. An aim more necessary now than ever.
“At Esade Alumni, we are firm believers in the key contribution that Esade alumni can make to the social transformation now under way: a paradigm shift in which companies are essential agents for change. And so, for fifteen years we have been working as facilitators to inspire and offer guidance to anyone willing to work towards this in their professional sphere, with solidarity and responsibility, providing support where it is most needed and working towards a far more committed, responsible and sustainable business ecosystem”, she explained.
This year, Alumni Social has also made inroads into impact assessment with an SROI (social return on investment) survey to measure and compare its year-on-year contribution to society and quantify its evolution. The survey found that the SROI of one year of activity by giving-back consultants was €2.31 for each euro invested, a more than acceptable figure.
“We are extremely proud of our former students for the effort and determination that have made this project and all its impact possible. Giving-Back Consultants would be impossible without your help. We have all made it a success. We are all part of the association, and its members enrich and nurture it every single day”, she declared to the audience.